Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1144 MP3 Audio File Video File

Do Not Despise Prophecies

(1 Thess. 5:19-22a)

Delivered 12/04/22

We are continuing our study this morning of 1 Thessalonians. We have been looking at a section that begins in 5:12 and runs all the way down to verse 22. It is really a long series of commands that have to do with practical life in the local church. In verses 5:12-13 Paul gives instructions on how to regard the leaders in the local church.

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV

 In verses 14-15, Paul lays out how the Thessalonians are to treat one another.

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 ESV

Some believers need to be admonished, some need encouragement, and some need patience. One size doesn’t fit all. In verse 15, Paul teaches that no matter how someone mistreats us, no matter how evil, we are never to retaliate. Now that is hard enough to swallow, but Paul goes on to say, "but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone." The Greek word translated "seek" is dioko which means to go after something with strong intent and effort. We could paraphrase as "Rather than seek vengeance, go after the other person’s highest good with a vengeance." Think about that! They do evil to you, but your response is to go after their highest good with a vengeance. This is how we are called to live. This is not normal or natural, it is supernatural. Only as you walk in the Spirit, only as you abide in Christ, trusting on His power, can this be done.

Then in verses 16-18, he gives them instructions on their relationship with their Lord.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Yeshua for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

"This" refers to the previous three commands and not just to the third. Rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks are always God’s will for you in Christ Yeshua.

This morning we come to verses 19-22 which deal with the believer’s response to prophecy.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 ESV

The five imperatives here must go together. The first two negative imperatives of verse 19-20 set the boundaries for the three positive imperatives of 21-22. These five exhortations concern the use and control of prophecy within the church.

Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV

This is a present active imperative with the negative particle, usually meaning to stop an act in process. The Williams translation has "stop stifling the Spirit." The word "quench" here is from the Greek word sbennumi which applies to the putting out of a flame of some sort. This word is used eight times in the New Testament, and this is the only place where it is used in a metaphorical sense. All its other uses involve the putting out of a fire. Quenching the Spirit is a figurative expression used to illustrate the possibility of hindering or restricting the Spirit's work in and through the believer. This is clearly a prohibition against hindering the work of the Spirit. Our actions affect the working of the Spirit.

Look at a parallel text in Ephesians.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 ESV

In the context, Paul has been showing what it means to live as a Christian in a pagan world. Believers are not to live as the rest of the world lives. Paul says, "walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk" (4:17-19). We are to live differently. In other words, we are to live as those now created anew in righteousness and holiness, as those who have put off the Old Man and have put on the New Man (4:20-24). Specifically, this means laying aside falsehood and speaking the truth (4:25), being angry and yet avoiding sin, not letting our anger control us (4:26-27), not stealing but rather working hard so we can share with those in need (4:28), and not using speech that tears down others but using our words to build up others (4:29). We are to minister grace to one another. Paul goes on to say (4:31-32) that as Christians, we must put off all bitterness and anger and instead be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving towards one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven us.

But right in the middle of giving all these specific behavioral changes, Paul gives us the supreme motivation for why we should not sin—our sin grieves the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated here as "grieve" is lupeo, which can mean "both physical pain and mental anguish." Lupeo means: "to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness" (The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament by Kittel). Not only does the believer’s sin bring pain to Yahweh, but it also hinders the work of the Spirit.

Some believers take Paul’s statements here, "do not quench the Spirit" and "do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God," and misuse them to justify all kinds of foolishness being done within the body of Christ. They apply them to the unusual things that they claim the Spirit does in the Church, such as the spirit of laughter. The term "holy laughter" was coined to describe a phenomenon during which a person laughs uncontrollably, presumably as a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit's joy. It is characterized by uncontrollable laughter, sometimes accompanied by falling down to the floor. Others would use Paul’s statements to claim that no one can question their gibberish speech. If someone were to contend that these phenomena are not of the Spirit, they would accuse him of quenching/grieving the Holy Spirit. This is not what these passages intend to say. We’ll see next week that we are to test everything.

We hinder and grieve the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives when we tolerate any known sin, whether it is exhibited individually or in the church. Rather than hinder or grieve the Spirit, the believer is to be filled (controlled) by the Spirit (Eph 5:18–20), to walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16), and to be led by the Spirit (Gal 5:18).

Do not despise prophecies, 1 Thessalonians 5:20 ESV

In the context, this is the primary way of quenching the Spirit. This is also a present active imperative with the negative particle, usually meaning to stop an act in process.

While scholars acknowledge that we cannot know for certain the nature of the problem that Paul is correcting here, it apparently involved the total restriction or prohibition of exercising the gift of prophecy in the church. We don’t know the reason for this regulation, but maybe it was because some were giving false prophecies. This may be what we see in 2 Thessalonians 2.

not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 ESV

Some were saying, maybe even prophesying, that the day of the Lord had already come. Let me remind you of what we learned earlier in this chapter about the Day of the Lord. The various references to "the day of the Lord" in the Tanakh referred to various nations that Yahweh was judging, but all the references in the New Testament are to that "day of the Lord" which came in A. D. 70 when the nation Israel was destroyed. The phrase "The day of the Lord," therefore, in 1 Thessalonians 5, refers to God’s judgment of the apostate Jewish nation at the end of the age when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman armies. This was the end of the Old Covenant and the consummation of the New Covenant.

So, those in Thessalonica who were saying that this had already happened were obviously wrong. Jerusalem was still standing. Things like this may have turned the Thessalonians off to prophecy. We don’t really know for sure.

Let’s talk about prophecy. The definition of "prophecy" in the New Testament has been much debated. Most Reformed scholars, along with evangelical seminaries such as Dallas Theological Seminary, The Master’s Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary hold to a view called cessationism. While they believe that God works miracles today, they argue that modern examples of healing and miracles are not the same as the miraculous gifts described in the New Testament. They believe that the miraculous (or sign) gifts of the Spirit (prophecy, miracles, healing, speaking in tongues, and interpreting tongues) ceased at the end of the apostolic era with the completion of the canon of Scripture.

But then there are other Reformed scholars such as Wayne Grudem, John Piper, D. A. Carson, and Sam Storms who believe that such gifts are still valid for the church today.

We know that in the New Testament, prophecy was a spiritual gift and a very important spiritual give. In fact, Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, said the most about prophecy and tongues. Notice what Paul wrote about prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14.

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV
On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 1 Corinthians 14:3 ESV

Now some would say that according to Paul’s teaching here the main purpose of Christian prophecy was not for predicting the future but rather for "strengthening, encouraging, and comforting," with special emphasis on its role in the building up the community. I would agree that prophecy is not always predictive, but it is always divine. These believers were being built up and encouraged by the very word of Yahweh.

G. K. Beale writes, "The word Spirit in 1 Corinthians 14:1-2, 12, 15-16 refers especially to divine revelation through tongues and prophecy, so that the close link between Spirit and prophecies here points to the same thing."

So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:39 ESV

Prophecy, therefore, was obviously a very important gift. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul writes:

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:28 ESV

There seems to be an order of importance here: "first apostles, second prophets, third teachers." Paul also tells us the importance of prophets in Ephesians 2.

built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Yeshua himself being the cornerstone, Ephesians 2:20 ESV

Prophets, along with the apostles, were responsible for laying the foundation of the Church.

Let me ask you again, what exactly is prophecy? John MacArthur writes, "It simply means to speak before people. It is the gift of public speaking." I think this is way too watered down. If what MacArthur says is right, what was the purpose of the gift of teaching? Didn’t teachers speak before people?

Grudem defines modern prophecy as "telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind." He says (p. 1055), "So prophecies in the church today should be considered merely human words, not God’s words, and not equal to God’s words in authority." [Systematic Theology, p. 1049]

I would agree with him that "prophecies in the church today should be considered merely human words." The key being the word "today."

G. K. Beale, who rejects the views of both Grudem and MacArthur, writes, "Some define prophecy not as a direct, flawless revelation from the Spirit, but as faithfully preaching the word of God to a church congregation. This appears incorrect, since prophecy elsewhere in the Bible seems always to be connected with a direct revelation by the Spirit." [1-2 Thessalonians [IVP Academic], p. 173] 

Prophecy in the New Testament is the same as in the Tanakh—

a direct, infallible revelation from God. The gift of prophecy was the ability to receive and communicate direct revelations from God before the New Testament was completed.

You can see, then, that there is great disagreement as to what New Testament prophecy was. There are men like Grudem who are teaching that prophecy is "merely human words, not God’s words, and not equal to God’s words in authority." Other men, like G. K. Beale, contend that "prophecy in the Bible seems always to be connected with a direct revelation by the Spirit." Where we come down on this issue is very important. If you believe that prophets are giving "merely human words," then who really cares what they say? But if they are giving direct revelation for Yahweh, we do well to pay attention to what they are saying. This is important because there are those today who claim to be prophets. Your view of prophecy determines how you respond to what they say.

We talked last week about the truthers, those who are reporting and attempting to explain current events. The MSM does nothing but lie. So, we need alterative news, but even then, we must be decerning. Many of those who call themselves truthers are promoting New-Age philosophy, men like SGAnon, Simon Parks, Charlie Ward, Scott McKay and Sasha Stone and may others. They talk about the "god force" in each of us and about spiritual ascension which comes from Darwinism and the 17th-century enlightenment. They talk about 3D and 5D consciousness. This is all New-Age nonsense and is dangerous.

I mentioned the truthers because some of them are promoting Julie Green, who is supposed to be a modern-day prophet. Here is a one of her so-called prophecies given on November 12, 2022.

For I, the Lord, this day am asking My children, where is your faith? Why are so many of My people discouraged? Why are so many of My people weeping? Why are so many still murmuring, groaning, and complaining? Why are so many still going by what they see, and not Me and what I have said?

I have sent My prophets to the lands. I have sent them to speak My Words. I have sent them to warn. To those still not listening, you are battered down, beaten, and bruised because you do not see what your enemies have done. I warned you time and time again that your enemies had a plan, that your enemies were going to do these things that you are seeing them do.

But didn't I say that I am your victory? Is that not My Name? I am Jehovah Nissi. I am your banner, and I am your victory. Just because your enemies are out there saying- you lose, you're defeated, we win, and we are taking your Nation- do you actually believe them? Do you believe I have allowed them to steal your Nation? Do you believe that I am actually allowing them to steal another election?

What really grabbed my attention here is that Yahweh calls himself Jehovah? Again, this is supposed to be Yahweh saying this. Let me say a word about the name Jehovah. In Hebrew Scripture the personal name of God is written with four Hebrew letters—yod, heh, vav, heh (YHWH). It is known as the tetragrammaton. This name appears 6,829 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.

In the First Temple period, at least until the Babylonian Exile in 586 B.C., the divine name, Yahweh, was regularly pronounced in daily life. By the third century B.C., although the tetragrammaton was pronounced by priests in certain Temple liturgies, Jews avoided its use, employing instead many other substitutes. When reading or reciting Scripture, the custom was to substitute 'adonai (LORD).

Until the early Middle Ages, Hebrew was written without vowels. By the sixth century A.D. a system of vowel signs was developed by the Masoretes, the Jewish scholars of the period, to aid the reader in pronunciation. They superimposed the vowel signs of the word adonai upon the four consonants of God's name.

In A.D. 1518, in his monumental work of Christian mysticism, the Italian theologian and Franciscan friar, Galatinus, not realizing that the Masoretes had placed the vowel signs of another word with the consonants YHWH, fused the vowels of adonai with the consonants of the divine name and thus gave the Church "Jehovah," a word which has no meaning in Hebrew.

Scholars trace the actual word "Jehovah" and its spelling to anywhere between the 1100s and the 1500s A.D. The Anchor Bible Dictionary states:

The misreading of the text to form the word "Jehovah" is usually traced to Petrus Galatinus, confessor to Pope Leo X, who in 1518 AD transliterated the four Hebrew letters with the Latin letters JHWH together with the vowels of Adonai, producing the artificial form "Jehovah." (This confused usage may, however, have begun as early as 1100 AD). ("Yahweh," Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 6, 1011)

Scholars disagree as to who coined "Jehovah," but they agree that it is a human construct, it is not an authentic pronunciation of "YHWH." It is not God’s name; it is totally made up. So, strike the word Jehovah from your Christian vocabulary because it is not biblical at all.

So, we have a woman who is claiming to speak for God by giving direct revelation, and she wants us to believe that Yahweh uses the name Jehovah for Himself. I don’t think so.

On November 16 Julie said God told her this:

Pedophile: this word will be in the news more and more. It will shock the world how many have been hidden in governmental positions all around the world, and attached to so many in Hollywood. These are the days for many to fall and many exposures to be made known, saith the Lord of Hosts.

A great fall is about to take place in California- a great scandal that will no longer be hidden. A rat's nest will be revealed, and it will be destroyed.

So, Julie claims to be speaking divine direct revelation. She says, "For I, the Lord," and "saith the Lord of Hosts." Her predictions are nebulous. I could make most of these predictions based on current events. She is not a prophet; she is a charlatan. I hope to prove this to you from the Scriptures.

Biblical prophets were gifted men who were second only to the apostles in the founding days of the Church. A prophet in the New Testament refers to one who has the insight into divine things and who speaks them forth. Sometimes prophecy was predictive, as we see in Acts 11.

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). Acts 11:27-28 ESV

Sometimes prophets spoke for God without predicting the future. For instance, not everything Isaiah said was predictive. So, prophets gave present and future truth. When they spoke of the future, they were to be 100% accurate, or they were to die.

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. Deuteronomy 18:18 ESV

This is speaking of Yeshua. He calls Him a prophet and then says, "I will put my words in His mouth." A prophet is the mouth of God. He is speaking for Yahweh. A biblical prophet is someone who has met with Yahweh, someone who has stood in the Divine Council and has been sent to speak for Yahweh.

A contemporary writer, Ron McKenzie, who was a Presbyterian Minister, says this: "The most urgent need of the modern church is for the restoration of the prophetic ministry." He goes on to say, "There are no perfect prophets. There are very few perfect prophecies. I would expect that even experienced prophets get it wrong sometimes. I suspect that most prophets would be very happy, if they got it right 90 percent of the time. An even larger percentage of prophecies from God will be slightly contaminated by something the prophet has added from his own heart. This is normal even for experienced prophets, because all prophets are human." He goes on to say, "We must also learn to reject prophecies without killing the prophet. The church should accept a mistake as a reminder that all prophets are human. The prophets should be glad to hear about their mistakes, so they can learn from them." Is this in line with Scripture? Not even close. Consider Deuteronomy 18.

And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:19-22 ESV

So, a prophet is to be accurate or die! A prophet is the mouth of God.

And the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. Exodus 7:1 ESV

Aaron was to speak for Moses, who was as God to Pharaoh. John Piper writes, "But the spiritual gift of prophecy is different from the inspiration of Scripture." I really don't see it as different than inspiration because a prophet was the mouth of Yahweh. Marvin Vincent says of prophecy: "Prophecy is utterance under immediate divine inspiration; delivering inspired exhortation, instructions or warnings. The fact of direct inspiration distinguished prophecy from teaching."

Before the completion of revealed truth in the Scriptures, the prophets were inspired revealers of God’s teaching to the churches. They told the infant churches what they should do, believe, and teach. Their ministry was later superseded by the Bible.

Are there prophets today in a secondary sense? Aren't those who preach the Word with power and authority prophets? Not unless they are speaking under inspiration directly for God.

Are there prophets today who could write something that would have the authority of Scripture? No! John MacArthur says, "There are people who want to eliminate prophecy as still existing today. They have a problem, because if they eliminate prophecy, then what do they say the people are doing who proclaim the Word?" I would say they are teaching or preaching!

David Guzik writes, "Do not despise prophecies: We recognize that the Lord speaks to and through His people today, and we learn to be open to His voice." If what the prophet is saying is "God’s voice," that would have the same authority of Scripture.

It is my understanding that all prophecy ended in A.D. 70, when the Temple was destroyed as the Lord returned in judgment ending the Old Covenant and fully consummating the New Covenant. I think we can prove this if we take a close look at some verses in the Tanakh. Let's start by looking at Daniel chapter 9. In Daniel 9, the 70 years for the Babylonian captivity was just about over.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Daniel 9:1-2 ESV

In verses 1 and 2, we find that Daniel had calculated the number of years of the Babylonian captivity based upon the prophecy of Jeremiah 29:10. He knew that the time was near, and he went to Yahweh in prayer asking Him to remember His covenant and restore Israel. The restoration of Israel is at the heart and core of Daniel's prophecy. The angel was sent to speak unto Daniel, and this is what he said:

"Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Daniel 9:24 ESV

Daniel was told that 70 weeks had been determined on his people Israel and city Jerusalem. By the end of this prophetic time period, God promised that six things would be accomplished. One of the things that Daniel was told would happen by the end of that period was that God would "seal both vision and prophet."

If you have done much study using commentaries, you know that there is little that Bible scholars agree on. That gives great force to this phrase, which has almost unanimous agreement among Bible scholars across the board. The Hebrew commentaries are in agreement on the meaning of "seal both vision and prophet"—they say it means "to give or reveal." It is the process of inspiration, but it's not just that. It also means "to confirm by the fulfilling of the prophecy."

Keil and Delitzsch, highly respected Hebrew authorities, state in volume 9 page 344 that "seal up vision and prophecy" means "Prophecies and prophets are sealed, when by the full realization of all prophecies prophecy ceases, no prophets any more appear." What does "seal both vision and prophet" mean? Hebrew scholars agree that it means the end and complete fulfillment of all prophecy.

Even John Walvoord, who is "Mr. Dispensationalist," says this: "Probably 'seal up vision and prophecy' is best understood to mean the termination of unusual direct revelation by means of vision and oral prophecy. To seal means that no more is to be added and that what has been predicted will receive Divine conformation in the form of actual fulfillment."

To "seal both vision and prophet" clearly means "to give prophecy and fulfill it." Daniel's prophecy, then, tells of the time when all prophecy would cease to be given, and what had been given would be fulfilled. When would this be? Daniel's vision ends with the destruction of Jerusalem that occurred in A.D. 70 (v26). Let's compare Daniel 9:25-27 with Matthew 24:15 and following where Yeshua said the Abomination of Desolation and His coming would occur in his generation.

Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. Daniel 9:25-26 ESV

Who is, "the prince who is to come" of verse 26? Some say this is the beast. The nearest antecedent for the coming prince in verse 26 would carry us back to the "an anointed one, a prince" (verse 25), who was cut off (verse 26). Therefore, Christ becomes the One and only "Prince" in the whole context. The "people of the prince" speaks of the Jewish people who were the ones responsible for the destruction of the City Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70 when all of the facts of biblical and secular history are considered.

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."  Daniel 9:27 ESV

In the middle of the 70th week comes the abomination that makes desolate. When this happened, prophecy ceased. We know from the teaching of Yeshua when this happened.

"So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Matthew 24:15-16 ESV

The "Abomination of Desolation" is referring to the Roman army in the holy place, which is the city of Jerusalem.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. Matthew 24:21 ESV

"Then" indicates the time when the Roman armies surrounded and laid siege to Jerusalem in A.D. 67-70. There is no tribulation to equal what happened in A.D. 67-70, prior to it or after it. The great tribulation is over; it happened in A.D. 67-70.

So, Daniel tells us that his vision ends with the destruction of Jerusalem, which would bring an end to all prophecy. This is exactly what Luke tells us.

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Luke 21:20-22 ESV

All prophecy was to cease and be fulfilled by the time Jerusalem was destroyed. This happened in A.D. 70. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 that prophecy will end when the perfect comes.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 ESV

What is "the perfect" that was to come? This is the crucial phrase in the whole passage. "The perfect" refers to the maturity of the body at the resurrection, which happened at the Second Coming of Christ in A.D. 70, bringing in the New Heavens and New Earth. This closed the cannon of Scripture.

The word "perfect" is the Greek word teleion. The literature of the New Testament usually equates the Greek word teleion with maturity. In its eight occurrences in Paul's Epistles, six are translated "mature." The phrase "the perfect" is often used in the Greek language to speak of a purpose or a goal. In this context, it is the goal of Yahweh for the Church. What was Yahweh's goal for the Church? It is that it be conformed into the image of Yeshua. That took place in A.D. 70 when the Lord returned and brought in the New Heaven and Earth where we see Him face to face. So, the coming again of our Lord for His people brought them to full maturity and closed the cannon of Scripture.

The reason that spiritual gifts were temporary is that when we came into a face-to- face relationship with Christ, we entered into a perfect maturity. There is no longer any need for spiritual gifts. Gifts were for the purpose of maturing the body, and when the body is completely matured, we will no longer need spiritual gifts.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-13 ESV

Daniel says prophecy would cease, and Paul says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 4. If "seal both vision and prophet" means "to give and fulfill all prophecy," and if all prophecy is not yet fulfilled, then all prophecy has not yet been given. That would mean, therefore, that there is still prophecy being given, that the Bible is not complete, and that the Charismatics are right—God is still speaking through the gift of prophecy. Can you live with that?

So, since all prophecy ended in A.D. 70, there are NO prophets today. There is no one today speaking under immediate divine inspiration. We have God’s Word contained in the Bible and it is all we need. Stick to the Bible and ignore those claiming to be prophets. We will continue this subject next week.

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